64km (40 miles) W of Cologne

The ancient Imperial City of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) is inseparably connected with the Emperor Charlemagne (748–814), who in 800 was crowned Emperor in Rome and became the first emperor of western Europe since the demise of the Roman Empire. Charlemagne selected this spot at the frontier where Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands meet as the center of his vast Frankish empire. Visitors come to visit Charlemagne’s cathedral, where subsequent Holy Roman emperors were crowned, the Altstadt with its impressive Rathaus, and to relax in the hot spring baths that have been used since Roman times.